Peoria Christian senior Stephen Ferkol is a two-time qualifier for the state tennis tournament. The Chargers have a full team this season for the first time since Ferkol has been in high school. He posted won-lost records of 10-3 as a sophomore and 14-4 last season.
Journal Star reporter Johnny Campos served up five questions for Ferkol:
1 Were you basically a one-man team for the Chargers IN your first three seasons in high school? How tough was that?
Yes, for the first three years I was a one-man team. It was tough because I had to find my own practices and sort out my match schedule. At most of my matches I didn't have a coach or any help which was tough. But after freshman year I got used to it.
2 After qualifying for state the past two seasons, are you putting extra pressure on yourself to qualify for a third straight year?
There's always pressure to perform at your best, but I just go out on the court and play my best every match. I don't see it as extra pressure — it's just another challenge.
3 Have you done anything special to prepare for your senior season?
I've worked on my serve a lot. I'm quite tall (6-foot-4), so serve is really important in my game.
4 What do you do outside the tennis courts to relax?
I like to listen to music, watch movies, and spend time with friends. Basically I have full schedule of tennis, drama crew and school work. Any time that I can get a break is nice.
5 What are your plans for college? Do you think you will play at the next level?
I plan to attend Baylor University. I'm going to study finance and international business with a minor in Spanish. I plan to play club tennis, and during a visit down to Baylor I was able to play with some one of the players on the club team.